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13 Prominent Chilean Intellectuals Protest Unesco’s Expulsion of Israel

Thirteen prominent Chilean writers. including three winners of national prizes for literature, have protested to UNESCO against its recent resolution excluding Israel from its European regional grouping. The writers said in a declaration published here; “We share the astonishment of the world at the exclusion of the State of Israel from the regional activities of UNESCO and the attempt to extirpate from the physical map its national outlines.”

The declaration characterized UNESCO’s act as “simply and definitively absurd and therefore unacceptable.” It noted that “Israel, like Greece and Rome, holds a place of privilege in the historical accounts of universal culture” and has been in the forefront of religion, science and philosophy for centuries. The three prize-winners who signed the declaration along with 10 other Chilean men and women writers and intellectuals were Hernan Diaz Arrieta, Hernan del Solar and Sady Zanartu.

Meanwhile, the Representative Committee of the Jewish Community of Chile has commended the government for supporting Israel at the United Nations General Assembly last month. Chile voted against a resolution calling for the right of the Palestinian people to return to their land and property, and abstained on a resolution according the Palestine Liberation Organization permanent observer status in the General Assembly. Both resolutions were adopted with large majorities, Gil Sinay, president of the Council, said Chile’s action in defiance of the Arab states and their allies was all the more praiseworthy because Chile produces barely 25 percent of its domestic oil consumption and is dependent on oil imports.

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